Monthly Archives: June 2012

Red Gate Woods Sketch


About a week ago, I made a mid-day hike in the summer heat at Red Gate Woods. Crazy? Maybe. I didn’t realize how humid it was until going up several steep hills on the orange trail. When the back of your shirt becomes saturated with sweat…it’s humid.

What was yummy on the other hand, was all of the interesting things I found along my trail. Like, several large Ox-Eye Daisies amongst tiny pink flowers, which I believe are Deptford Pinks. I also found a hard-shelled dead bug on a stone bridge over a small creek.

At the end of the orange trail, I came upon a band of blue jays. I grabbed my voice recorder and recorded some interesting sounds. Not only did they call out, but several blue jays made “clicking” sounds. If you turn the volume way up, you can hear it…sorry about the traffic noise…I have a cheap recorder and there is a street near by.

Oh how happy I was to walk into this auditory treasure! And happy even more so to share it with all of you!

There are many treasures in the woods, but sooooo little time.


You Pick. Which one will be the next step by step painting?

Painting # 1  “Lakeside Pier”
Image taken at Centennial Park in Orland Park, IL. Spring 2011.
Pier and House will be shifted to the left a bit (so not to be in the center) and we’ll add leaves to the trees in front.

Painting #2  “Woodland Bridge”
Image taken at The Center in Palos Heights, IL. Spring 2012.
Trees in the background will be shifted a bit to add interest. Various colors will be added to the ground to add interest as well.

The painting will be of pastel medium on a 16×20 board. I will show each step so that you can do it yourself at home. Poll will be open for 1 week. You decide!

My Fern Has Spots Sketch


No, it doesn’t have a disease.
Yes, “EWWW” was my first response when I looked underneath the frond and realized I was touching the spots. 🙂

Actually, my fern is fertile. Yay!
The spots under the fronds are called sori (plural). Each sorus (singular) is filled with spores. When there is enough moisture, the spores will release and do their thing in the soil (fertilize itself; each spore contains male and female parts). Hopefully next year I will have more ferns.

Ferns do not produce seed, flower, nor fruit. They, like mushrooms, reproduce by spore. Isn’t that neat! This has been your daily dose of biology class. 😉


Here is a close up photo of the sori.


From on top, you would never know what’s going on underneath. This is my first year growing ferns, I hope to fill the shady spots along my fence will baby ferns.

What do you have growing in your yard?